A time for change
Tomorrow’s properties to be affordable without quality compromise
By Joseph Wong
Emerging technologies and shifting home buyer demographics are shaking up the real estate industry, not to mention the unprecedented disruptions that have plagued the sector for the last couple of years. These factors have influenced all aspects of traditional real estate transactions ranging from the way properties are listed to the sealing of the deal.
This has left many home buyers and investors wondering where the future of real estate is headed and how to adapt to these changes. But all these factors have led to one foregone conclusion – the real estate of the future must continue to transform.
“Spaces of tomorrow should be affordable without compromising on the quality of material and quality of life. It has to be sustainable, with targets for net zero carbon and reduced emissions throughout its entire asset lifecycle.
“And it has to be resilient in withstanding long-term climate change. It is a shared responsibility to ensure cities and residential areas in Malaysia are inclusive, resilient, safe and sustainable, and the government is committed to providing Malaysians with a high-quality lifestyle in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets,” said Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming.
Economic prosperity and smart growth go hand in hand, he said, adding that development decisions are vital in determining the prosperity of the nation since they have a long-term effect on consumers and rakyat Malaysia as a whole.
“The Ministry has always placed a strong emphasis on programmes that promote adequate and affordable housing, and this goal has not changed. Currently, we are reviewing the National Housing Policy (2018 – 2025) to promote a sustainable and affordable housing agenda. Following the pent-up demand from recent restricted residential launches as well as a slow but steady recovery in the general economy, numerous affordable projects have been developed for the B40 and M40 market.
“The ministry is targeting to build 83,728 units of affordable houses throughout the implementation of the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021 – 2025), whereby 22,209 units were already completed, 47,637 units are under construction and the remaining 13,882 units are in the pipeline to be completed by 2025.
“The ministry reaffirms its commitment to raising the level of living and well-being of the rakyat we serve. Roundtable discussions with industry players including associations, government agencies and housing-related stakeholders will be held in 2023 to discuss potential prospects and challenges as the country braces for market volatility, economic slowdown, tightening monetary policy to arrest inflation and the possibility of experiencing a recession,” said Nga.
Nonetheless, he said the ministry’s initiatives will help cushion the impacts for rakyat such as financial assistance through i-Biaya, i-Miliki in which 100% stamp duty exemption for first-time homeowners purchasing house priced RM500,000 below and 50% stamp duty exemption for homeowners purchasing house priced between RM500,000 to RM1mil as well as affordable housing schemes.
“In addition, the ministry is actively looking into the issue of overhang property. Currently, there are 29,534 unsold houses recorded in Q3 of 2022. If the matter is unresolved, the number of unsold houses will continue to rise.
“The low and middle-income groups remain vulnerable to owning a house and we must work together to solve this long outstanding issue. There is an urgent and dire need to avoid the mismatch of market demand and strategic project locations.
“To keep this in check, we need a strong collaborative effort from all parties in the industry especially the developers to look beyond ringgit and sen but the well-being of a community,” said Nga.
While the ministry and local government facilitate due processes in the early stage of construction like obtaining development orders and licensing, likewise the industry must work hand in hand to assist the rakyat to own a decent home and play a part to build homes, not solely profiting from it, but also discharging social responsibility as well, he said.
Nga is intending to create a task force to find a solution to 381 private housing projects that are categorised as abandoned to protect the rights and interests of home buyers.
He said housing development is one of the important sectors in generating the national economy where almost 200 industries are involved. Thus, the ministry hopes that the housing industry will continue to thrive in 2023.
“Since the political situation in our country has returned to stability after the 15th General Election, foreign investors have confidence in the unity government again, I am optimistic about the national housing industry market next year.
“I hope that entrepreneurs can increase domestic investment and that the unity government will cooperate actively by launching proper business and pro-people policies. Let us work together to fight for the national economy and save the lives of the people,” said Nga.
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